Republicans feed the 'War on Women' myth

Senator's flub shows men making excuses for other men. Photo: voanews.com

WASHINGTON, June 6, 2013 - Mark your calendar. Note where you were on this day. This is the day the Republican Party became the party of sexual liberation.

The Democrats are supposed to hold this distinction. With their condoms-in-classrooms programs, mandate of free birth control for women, and support for gay nuptials, who could be blamed for thinking that?


SEE RELATED: Moshe Katsav & Emanuel Rosen: Women’s role in sexual harassment


But a group of Republicans wants you to know: If you’re into sexual activity of the involuntary variety, we’re your man! Literally.

Yesterday Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) noted of young soldiers, “Gee whiz, the hormone level created by nature sets in place the possibility for these types of things to occur.”

Sexual assault and harassment are the “these things” to which he was referring.

Before that, the U.S. Department of Education sent a letter to the University of Montana to “encourage” certain policies on sexual assault. The letter set several conservative commentators aflame, denouncing the guidelines as “speech codes,” and “censorship” of students’ right to sexually harass. “No Sex Talk Allowed,” mocked one headline. The “definition … makes virtually every student in the [U.S.] a harasser,” whined one writer.


SEE RELATED: War on Women: CNN pities Steubenville rapists’ “ruined lives”


It would create the “de-eroticized university,” complained another.

Never mind that “de-eroticized universities” used to be called convents, don’t miss out on the memo here: For these Republicans, we’re the party of sexual liberation.

In fairness, surely we can all agree the greatest threat facing our universities is the lack of “sex talk” …

… not rising tuition costs, which have increased 1,120 percent in the last 30 years;

… not graduates’ average debt of $35,200 – the highest in U.S. history;  

… not that sports coaches are now the highest paid public employees in 40 out of 50 states;

… not grade inflation, or stagnant graduation rates, or declining numbers of men enrolling in college.

No. What the world really needs is a place where young people fresh out of their parent’s homes can listen to sex-themed music at sex-themed parties, have massive amounts of sex with proximate (and preferably free) access to prophylactics, male and female social organizations that promote macho culture for the former and exacting beauty standards for the latter and have houses to facilitate the copulating.

If only such a mythical land of milk and honey existed.

The lamentations decrying “de-eroticized universities” surely cannot be coming from the same quarters who every year gird up with a belt of truth and breastplate of righteousness to give battle in “wars” on Christmas, Easter, nativity scenes, prayer in schools, and the Ten Commandments. (“A Happy Holiday IS a Merry Christmas,” Sarah Palin’s newest book title informs us.)

Any conservatives who think banning harassment is “censorship,” but banning “Happy Holidays” is ok, should investigate whatever cognitive dissonance is leading them to that view.

Equally tragic are those who are so sure that condoms in classrooms cause teenage sex, but who don’t see that tolerance of rape and harassment breeds more of it.  

The person who thinks that is all for sexual activity, except when it’s voluntary.

Ultimately, we conservatives are right to champion personal responsibility. But with “hormones-made-me-do-it”-ites in our midst we look like our message really is: personal responsibility for women, immigrants, poor people, and minorities — but none for men.

Rape? Just boys being boys.  

Unwelcome contact? Gee, golly, the hormones made me do it, again!

Harassment? Freedom of speech, America!

We Republicans are not waging a “war on women.” But this circus of woman blamers, male excusers, and those who ask questions like, “’offensive’ to her or ‘offensive’ to a reasonable person?” makes us look like we are.

And hypocritically so, to boot.


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Charles Badger

Charles Badger has been a columnist for The Washington Times Communities section since 2013. He is a Republican political strategist, speechwriter, and former aide to a Member of Congress, currently working in disaster relief logistics & communications. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Berea College.

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